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eBay sells 80% of its South Korean business to Emart for $3 billion

The online auction portal eBay announced Thursday that it has reached an agreement to sell 80% of its business in South Korea to the retailer EMart for about US $ 3,000 million.

In a joint statement, eBay said the sale of part of its South Korean subsidiary to EMart includes brands such as G-Market, IAC and G-9, among others, which have a combined market value of approximately $3.8 billion.

"This deal brings together two strong e-commerce and retail companies that can unlock tremendous potential in Korea and give customers more choice," said Jamie Iannone, eBay's CEO.

eBay Korea and Emart "can build a 360-degree ecosystem that will enable full touch points with customers in categories from home shopping to general merchandise," they both said.

The sale, subject to a green light from regulators, is expected to close by the end of next year.

Emart is a retail group affiliated with the Shinsegae conglomerate and through this operation it will acquire the third largest e- commerce business in the country after Naver and Coupang, according to The Wall Street Journal.

According to analysts pointed out to that medium, the firm will become the second largest business in this area in South Korea if its operations are merged.

Emart plans to invest 1 trillion KRW (nearly US$884 million) in sourcing centers over the next four years and use offline stores for that purpose as well, it said in the statement.

eBay Korea business had a turnover of US$1.4 billion in 2020.

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